Wednesday 23 October 2019

Mum-of-three suffered '125 cuts, bruises and lacerations', murder trial hears

Cathal O'Sullivan denies the murder of Nicola Collins in Cork flat

Nicola Collins
Nicola Collins

Ralph Riegel

A YOUNG mother of three found dead in a Cork flat had suffered a total of 125 different cuts, bruises and lacerations, a murder trial was told.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster told the murder trial of Nicola Collins (38) that she died from a serious head injury caused by blunt force trauma.

Cathal O'Sullivan (45) denies the murder of Ms Collins before the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

The body of Ms Collins was found lying naked on the bedroom floor of a flat at 6A Popham's Road, Farranree, Cork on March 27, 2017.

The defendant rang emergency services at 3am seeking an ambulance.

During the 999 call, which was played to the jury of nine men and three women, the defendant told the controller: "Jesus Christ - I am trying to bring my girlfriend back to life."

When paramedics asked the defendant to leave the flat while they tried to resuscitate Ms Collins, he refused as he "was used to seeing dead people and would rather stay".

Prosecutor Tom Creed SC told the trial in his opening address it was the State case that the defendant beat Ms Collins to death.

Nicola Collins 2.jpg
Mother of three: Nicola Collins had been living in Cork in recent years

The trial was told Ms Collins arrived at the flat by taxi on March 23 - and was last caught by CCTV footage entering the flat at 11.24am on March 24.

Mr O'Sullivan left the flat on March 24, 25 and 26.

A post mortem found that the Kerry-born mother had died from a serious head injury caused by blunt force trauma.

However, she had also sustained a broken jaw, had two missing front teeth and had bruises to her arms, face, lips, neck, abdomen and breast.

There were also signs of asphyxia.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster told the trial Ms Collins was found with a total of 125 different cuts, bruises and lacerations.

She had cuts and bruises to virtually every part of her body.

Some of the bruises and abrasions were found in clusters.

Dr Bolster said the cause of death was a serious head injury caused by blunt force trauma.

A 117g clot was found as a result of a subdural haematoma suffered by Ms Collins.

"Any clot of 100g and over is of significance," Dr Bolster said.

"It would exert a significant pressure effect on the brain," she explained.

The brain, unable to expand because of the skull, is forced down onto the brain stem which controls vital body functions such as respiration.

When found by emergency services, Ms Collins was laying naked on the bedroom floor of the flat with her legs resting on the edge of the bed.

Her blood stained clothing was found in the bathroom.

Blood spatters were found throughout the bedroom and bathroom while a clump of blonde hair was found on a glass dining table.

The trial has heard the flat was littered with empty alcohol cans and bottles.

The trial continues.

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